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To explore emergency department (ED) patient expectations regarding staff communication with patients, wait times, the triage process and information management.
We conducted a cross-sectional English-language telephone survey among patients aged 18 years or older who visited the EDs in the Calgary Health Region in 2002. Survey items were based on a preceding qualitative study.
Of the 941 surveys, 837 were analyzed. Patients placed the highest importance on the explanation of test results (96.5%), a description of circumstances that would require the patient to return to the ED (94.4%), the use of plain language (92.1%) and the reason for the tests (90.8%). Seventy-six percent of patients felt that ED staff should update patients every 30 minutes or less, 51.3% expected patients with non-life threatening problems should wait <1 hour, and 58.3% expected that the tests should be done within 1 hour. Almost two-thirds of the patients (64.4%) believed that the most serious patients should be seen first; 59.3% felt that the seriousness of medical concern should be determined by a triage nurse, and 63.9% thought that their personal health records should be immediately available to the emergency physician without their consent. The actual length of stay was significantly longer than expected length of stay for all patient groups, with Canadian Emergency Department Triage and Acuity Scale Levels IV and V patients expecting a shorter wait than patients in more urgent triage groups. Triage level effects on other expectations were not observed.
ED patient expectations appear to be similar across all triage levels. Patients value effective communication and short wait times over many other aspects of care. They have expectations for short wait times that are met infrequently and are currently unattainable in many Canadian EDs. Although it may be neither feasible nor desirable to meet all patient expectations, increased focus on wait times and staff communication may increase both ED efficiency and patient satisfaction.
Using a simulated airway model, we compared ventilation performance by emergency medical services (EMS) providers using a traditional bag–valve–mask (Easy Grip®) resuscitator to their performance when using a new device, the SMART BAG® resuscitator, which has a pressure-responsive flow-limiting valve.
We recruited EMS providers at an EMS educational forum and performed a randomized, non-blinded, prospective crossover comparison of ventilation with 2 devices on a non-intubated simulated airway model. Subjects were instructed to ventilate a Mini Ventilation Training Analyzer® as they would an 85-kg adult patient in respiratory arrest. After being randomized to order of device use, they performed ventilation for 1 minute with each device. Primary outcomes were ventilation rates and peak airway pressures. We also measured average tidal volume, gastric inflation volume, minute ventilation and inspiratory:expiratory (I:E) ratio, and compared our results to the American Heart Association standards (2005 edition).
We observed statistically significant differences between the SMART BAG® and the traditional bag–valve–mask for respiratory rate (12 v. 14 breaths/min), peak airway pressure (15.6 v. 18.9 cm H2O), gastric inflation (239.6 v. 1598.4 mL), minute ventilation (7980 v. 8775 mL), and I:E ratio (1.3 v. 1.1). Average tidal volume was similar with both devices (679.6 v. 672.2 mL).
The SMART BAG® provided ventilation performance that was more consistent with American Heart Association guidelines and delivered similar tidal volumes when compared with ventilation with a traditional bag–valve–mask resuscitator.
It is often believed that chest pain relieved by nitroglycerin is indicative of coronary artery disease origin.
To determine if relief of chest pain with nitroglycerin can be used as a diagnostic test to help differentiate cardiac chest pain and non-cardiac chest pain.
Prospective observational cohort study with a 4-week follow-up of patients enrolled.
Academic tertiary care hospital, with 60 000 visits/year.
Adult patients presenting to the emergency department with active chest pain who received nitroglycerin and were admitted for chest pain.
Patients with acute myocardial infarction diagnosed after obtaining an ECG, patients whose chest pain could not be quantified, those for whom no cardiac work-up was done, or those who received emergent cardiac catheterization.
270 patients were enrolled. Nitroglycerin relieved chest pain in 66% of the subjects. The diagnostic sensitivity of nitroglycerin to determine cardiac chest pain was 72% (64%–80%), and the specificity was 37% (34%–41%). The positive likelihood ratio for having coronary artery disease if nitroglycerin relieved chest pain was 1.1 (0.96–1.34). Telephone follow-up at 4 weeks was performed, with a 95% follow-up rate.
Relief of chest pain with nitroglycerin is not a reliable diagnostic test and does not distinguish between cardiac and non-cardiac chest pain.
CAEP Position Statement • Déclaration de position de l’ACMU